Givan Lotz – Oh Andrew

Johannesburg’s Givan Lotz is a man of many artistic talents across many mediums. Just one of these happens to be music. For somebody who claims to make art because he is “uncertain”, none of the music contained within his “Snarl” series of albums belies even a hint of confusion, of indecision. Instead, every track materialises with a tangibly bold degree of conviction and certainty. There is no uptempo to speak of – these are slow and often elongated vignettes.

While there are some sonic deviations: his guitar work often infers the delicate echoed charm of The Durutti Column; occasionally the baritone of his vocal manifests the dark eloquence of Scott Walker; organs tremble with humble reverence; there are even noisier moments which suggest Grizzly Bear at their most grizzly – never does it jar the senses. Never do you feel that Lotz is attempting to paint a new picture before the previous image is complete.

It will surely take me some time to digest, finally, in proper context (many of these tracks have been individually available to sample via Soundcloud for some time). I will for the foreseeable future be suggesting to anybody within sounding distance that they should waste no time in beginning the same process. This is a dense and emotionally complex collection of work of often overwhelming beauty.

Mike Phillips